Last month, I dispelled the myth that art is selfish and urged you to share your creativity with the world. It bears repeating: Art is generosity. Creativity is a gift. The only selfish act is in keeping it to yourself.
Changing your mindset around art and creativity is the first step to giving it the attention it deserves. The next (crucial) step is keeping a promise to yourself and making the space and time to actually create.
Personally, my biggest barrier to actually being a painter has always been a feeling of obligation; of responsibility. To others; to my home; to my career. With all that weighing in, it’s no surprise that I went years without putting painting in the forefront.
As parents, siblings, children, employees, and general human beings, it’s all too easy to shelve our creativity as we consistently put others’ needs in front of our own.
My life changed the day I realized how imperative it is to make painting -- my form of creativity; my healing, light, and gift -- its own obligation and to give it the space and time it deserves. It’s a change I want you to experience for yourself.
How I found my sacred space
It started when my son Bryan, the younger of my two children, left for college. I was walking around Canandaigua and wandered into an art gallery.
As I explored the gallery, my thoughts turned quickly from “What will I do with life now that I don’t have basketball or baseball games to attend?” to “How can I explore this world of art I’ve neglected for far too long?”
The gallery I’d wandered into was owned by Pat Rini Rohrer, a local Finger Lakes artist. I’d known her previously from a cooperative gallery we both took part in, but she approached me that day and encouraged me to take a class. Her encouragement started there, and never stopped.
I started taking an oil class, fell in love immediately…and never left. Pat was the angel that appeared at exactly the right time, when thoughts of actually making time to create had been buried for so long that I wasn’t sure they’d be able to dig themselves out.
Honoring my promise
For the last 10 years now, my Wednesday night class at the Pat Rini Rohrer Gallery on Main Street in Canandaigua has been my staple; my sanctuary; my way of keeping that promise to myself. It’s my time to surround myself with my tribe -- ladies who know the elation, the internal rejection, the pride, and judgment, and the overall passion that goes into expressing creativity.
All of my people -- the people I previously let my self-induced feeling of obligation to hinder my painting -- know that Wednesday nights are my night. They honor it. I honor it. I not only look forward to Wednesday nights with a burning excitement; I leave Pat’s classes energized, excited, and full of spirit and life. That gratitude carries me through each and every day in between.
Make time for your art
Brené Brown said: “Creativity is the way I share my soul with the world.” What I’d like to add: If we store that creativity up inside us for too long, our soul cannot be rejuvenated.
Carve out time and make space for your creativity.
Maybe it’s 20 minutes per day. Or one night per week. Or a full week every few months.
Whatever it is -- it’s crucial that you not only work time into your undoubtedly busy schedule to create, but that you keep a promise to yourself and actually make it happen.